From Wednesday, February 16, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) will allow Bulgarian investors access to several assets. Through these, they will be able to bet on the movement of prices of the two largest cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum. Finance Minister Assen Vassilev believes that Bulgaria could start a crypto payment mechanism very soon.
Investors would not be able to purchase cryptocurrencies directly. They would only be available by investing in exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs). It is mentioned that those will grant the exposure nonetheless.
Vassilev believes that Bulgaria could have a lot of potential investing in ETCs and ETNs. However, he mentions that Bulgaria will probably never become one of the major digital asset mining hubs.
Many shares of the global giants, such as Apple, Pfizer, Volkswagen, and others, are already traded. Bulgaria would list products of four different funds – ЕТС Іѕѕuаnсе, VаnЕсk ЕТР, 21Ѕhаrеѕ аnd WіѕdоmТrее.
Investors need to pay attention to one thing. In addition to the exchange rate of the two cryptocurrencies, the annual fees are going to be 2% each year. In this case, BTC of ETC Issuance.
History of Bulgaria’s crypto investments
Bulgaria has simple rules in the industry. The license is not needed to delve into the asset class for local investors. However, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and altcoin are taxable, as with other income from selling financial assets.
This Balkan country is the second-largest bitcoin investor. According to reports from 2017, the Bulgarian government owns more than 213,000 bitcoins. This is valued to be over 804 million US dollars.
It is said that those bitcoins were confiscated from illegal miners during the operation against financial crimes. Chief Public Ivan Geshev denied such seizure, saying that it was not true even though “Balkan Interpol” confirmed it.
Everyone forgot about these bitcoins for a couple of years. When Bulgaria got a new government, MP Ivaylo Marchev wanted to find out from the Minister of Internal Affairs what exactly happened back then. However, the minister, Boiko Rashov, has never responded to the latter.
Creating a new cryptocurrency that ended up being a scam
Back in 2014, Bulgarian entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova intended to change the world and bury bitcoin by creating a new cryptocurrency – Onecoin. She was the creator and face of that cryptocurrency. However, this ended up being one of the major pyramid scams of recent decades.
Ignatova was making promotional events where she spoke of revolutionary ideas, studied captivating slogans where the ending never ended up being written. She vanished not so long after along with four billion dollars, that 175 investors entrusted her with. The money was never seen again, along with Ignatova herself.
Ignatova was not working alone, she had accomplices. In 2017, the US filed a warrant for her arrest and her brother, Konstantin Ignatov. In 2018, they managed to arrest him for fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to 90 years.
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